Why Business Owners Should Own Their Domain Name

You have a business, and now that business needs a website.  So you settle on a domain name (like abccompany.com) you like, but don’t know how to build a website.  You find someone who can do that for you, and boom – your business is online!

It’s a pretty easy cycle, or at least it seems that way.  We know that dealing with websites can be scary territory if you’re not familiar with all the nitty-gritty details.  Leaving those details in the hands of your web designer makes it simple for you to get on with the business you know.

But there’s one thing that you won’t want to leave to your website providers.  When it comes to the domain name, you want to make sure that it stays within your control.  We want to address why you need to do that, and how such a tiny detail can affect your business.

Domain Name Ownership

Believe it or not, it’s super easy to buy your own domain name.  For instance, we use Hover.com when we're looking at new domain names.  Their process is simple and easy to follow – Find the domain name you want, add it to your cart, purchase it, and that’s it.  The process is easier than buying something on most retailer websites, and they even offer free WHOIS protection, keeping ownership information private and out of view.

Leaving it up to your web provider can cause some serious issues.  Mainly, one issue – that domain name doesn’t truly belong to you. Sure, typing the domain into your internet browser will bring up your website.  But if for some reason your relationship with your website provider deteriorates, that domain name will be long gone. In some cases, they may work with you long enough to transfer ownership to you, but even then the process is completely on their terms.

And yeah, you can buy a new domain name, but that can have negative effects on your business that you didn’t anticipate.

What Can Go Wrong?

We believe in addressing the most obvious problem first:  Letting someone else purchase your domain name gives them complete control over it.  While you and your provider are in sync, issues usually won’t arise. However, if you begin attempting to move away from them, they could very well move that domain name anywhere they want or worse, they are technically the owner listed for the domain and can choose not to move it. Not to get morbid here but if they were to die or disappear and they bought the domain name and registered it in their name, you will be facing a tedious battle to try and retain that domain name.

This leads into the second downside:  Not only would you immediately need a similar-enough domain to continue building your business, but you’d lose on any marketing already done with that domain name.  This includes SEO. All the hard work put into ensuring your domain popped up right where you needed it to is wiped away, meaning that you’ll see a huge loss in traffic.  This would all be on top of the wait for a new website to be developed and built, putting a further dent in your web traffic.

While all of that is bad enough, they intersect in the perfect storm of lost web business:  Your new website would be in direct competition with your old one. The two domains would be seen next to each other while you attempt to rebuild on your SEO strategies, which could cause confusion for customers while at the same time weakening all the work you’ve already done for your business online.

What to Do About It

It’s easy:  Buy your own domain name!  Google it, research it, and get it before you work on building your website.  Don’t leave this seemingly tiny task in the hands of your website provider. You want to control your website, and the only way to be absolutely sure of that is to own the domain name.

Are you ready to take on the most important part of building your website?  You can buy your domain name with ease and efficiency at Hover.com. I vouch for them, since I use them myself – and that actually knocks a little off the price!

Here’s how:

Go to Hover.com

Search for your domain name (like abccompany.com) and then create an account, pay the registration fee, then point it to your web hosting.

Domain Search

Taking these super easy steps will give you lots of peace of mind knowing that one of your most valuable business assets has been secured using your info and credit card. You control it and pay for it, and it’s yours as long as you pay your yearly renewal.

PRO TIP- I always tell my clients to add this event as an event on their personal and business calendars. Hover is particularly great about sending reminders to renew, but I never want to 100% count on someone else’s system to ensure my interests. Do it when you complete your registration and sleep like a baby.

Social Media Stories

We love seeing business owners who use social media to reach out to their customers. Especially in 2018, any business using social media knows how important it is to share information, photographs, videos, and more through these powerful marketing outlets.
What most businesses don't do, however, is use Facebook and Instagram stories. These are relatively new ways to give your customers a look at who's really behind the polished face of your business. Today, we'll discuss what these stories are and just how big of an impact they can have on current and future customers.
What is a Story
Stories on Instagram and Facebook are visual eye candy with a twist. They can contain multiple photos or even videos and will post online for only 24 hours. Afterward, they disappear. Typically, stories will show on Instagram or Facebook in a designated place on their platform - for instance, Facebook stories appear in the upper right-hand corner of the user’s news feed. This gives them a place of honor, so to speak, where they are noticeable right off the bat instead of having to be discovered through scrolling.
Now that we’ve gotten the technical part out of the way, stories are FUN!

You can use stories to give an unfiltered look at your business and invite interest in a whole new way.

For 24 hours, your stories lift that curtain that typically separates businesses and their customers. Reveal a step in how a product is made, give a peek into the daily life of your company, or show how your company has an impact on the local community.
You’ve already sparked their interest - now it’s time to shine!
How Stories Help Your Business
In 2018, the only way a business can thrive is if customers feel a connection to it. Return customers are less expensive than new ones, and stories are not only free but when used correctly can influence previous buyers to enjoy your products and services only.
For example, let’s say you own a convenience store. There are three more in your area, and all of you experience the typical drop-in-and-go customers who may not think twice about coming to your store later. Then, using Facebook stories, you share a story containing a short clip of your interaction with a kid who is excited to see that you ordered the candy bar he likes simply because you didn’t have it when he stopped in last week.
That story has the power to tell other customers multiple things about your brand and you, the person behind that little boy’s smile, as well as behind the counter. First, it establishes a belief that you care - you remembered you didn’t have it, and a customer had asked for it. Second, it establishes trust - if you care, then your store must be just as kept up as your memory. Third, that story is going to show that you want to do right by your customers and make them happy, which will instantly make you relatable to consumers.
Building a relationship with your customers through stories works on an interesting marketing level. Not only are you giving a live-action view of what happens in the store, but you’re also establishing yourself as a person running a store, not a store employing a person.
This is powerful imagery and seriously impacts current customers, and has a high chance of attracting new ones.
How to Use Stories with Your Business
We know that you may be used to glossy photographs and edited, polished videos, but this is your chance to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your company. When choosing what to show in your Facebook or Instagram stories, focus on the little things that may go unseen. For instance, if you own a bakery, give a glimpse at the art of turning fondant into flowers. If you run an auto shop, share a tip based on a unique problem a customer has.
After choosing a video or photo collection to make into a story, all you have to do is share it!
Once you’ve gotten into story sharing, it should be handled with care. Keeping a flow of stories coming means that you’ll get more views, so posting regularly is key. Post two, three, four times a week. You can even post daily if you really want to keep it rolling! And showing more stories per day is a great idea if you have the occasion for it. Keep it relevant and they’ll really pay off!
Overall, the idea behind Facebook and Instagram stories is that you show your customers who your company really is - a person or group of people determined to provide only the best services or products to your company’s customers. Making your company relatable will keep customers coming back - If only for the next story.